God Will Preserve Your Dreams During A Season Of Caregiving

My hope today, is to encourage those in a long season of caregiving.  Your riding goals may seem a distant memory, but they are not forgotten by God.  He greatly honors your commitment to care for your loved one.  “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me”  Matthew 25:40.   In such a season myself, the Lord is teaching me to rely upon His provision rather than exhausting myself overthinking every challenge.   Continue reading

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Hope For Your Challenges

“My horse would be further along with another rider” is a sentiment I hear all too often from clients and friends.  This thought tends to coexist with the belief that their horse would have a better life with a better rider.  This grieves me because the truth is, horses don’t care if they’re at training level or FEI so long as their needs are being met and they’re stewarded with love and respect.  Through the Lord’s divine providence, He brought you and your horse together to learn, grow and enjoy each other richly.  Continue reading

My Journey With Raina – Forming a New Partnership

Photo by Emily Covington

Photo by Emily Covington

Thanks for your patience in waiting for the final installment of “My Journey With Raina”. I have been away on a hiking retreat but I am happy to be back with you!  The challenge of building a new relationship with Raina lay before me, and the Lord made clear that my heart towards her needed to become softer and more peaceful. Providentially, the Lord put in place the pieces I needed. I had the good fortune to attend a clinic with legendary horseman, Buck Brannaman, which reconnected me to my “natural horsemanship” roots. Continue reading

My Journey With Raina – Moving Through Loss To Hope

Stephen and I

Stephen and  I

Within a year, I grieved several losses including my beloved brother whom I adored.  Alongside the sadness came increased care giving responsibilities, leaving my heart heavy and my energy depleted.  Raina in particular felt the shift.  Because of her sensitive nature, she needs me to be peaceful and undistracted when I enter into her world.  Continue reading

My Journey With Raina – Finding Healing

Playing to the camera

Playing to the camera!

As a young horse, Raina really enjoyed playing exuberantly in her field, earning a muscle tear at age 4 and a low limb contusion at age 5.  Both injuries required stall rest, cold therapy and NSAID support.  Raina really missed her pasture friends during stall confinement, so I entertained her by rotating stall toys, developed a program of core building and stretching exercises and put her on a natural supplement to prevent ulcers.  Despite these precautions however, Raina developed symptoms of an ulcer after her second injury. Continue reading

My Journey with Raina – The Beginning

BW-Raina at DAD.  Handled by Mårten Walter.

BW-Raina at DAD. Handled by Mårten Walter.

My lovely Raina is the daughter of Royal Prince and our imported mare, SPS Danina.  Born on a miserably wet day in 2005, she was the first foal my son helped me deliver.  Raina was well received at her Hanoverian inspection and later that year took us to the Breeder’s Group Reserve Championship at Dressage at Devon.  In the summer of her 3-year-old year, she was started in-house by Emily Covington and Martina Thiel-Poblotzki.  As with all of our youngsters, Raina was offered for sale.  Though we had a number of showings, no one offered to make her their own.  As the months passed, I heard the Lord’s gentle voice prompting me to develop and retain her. What I did not realize at the time, was the many challenges that lay ahead.  The next three years brought two soft tissue injuries followed by a confusing mix of fore and hind gut issues.  In 2013, Raina was diagnosed with and treated for Lyme disease.  Continue reading

How Hiking Helps My Riding

Bryce Canyon, UT

Bryce Canyon, UT

I became a true lover of mountain hiking in 2010. Since then I have hiked through the Shenandoah Valley, the Blue Ridge Mountains, the state parks of Utah, the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, the Black Mountains in North Carolina and along the Appalachian Trail in New York and Pennsylvania. There is something so transforming about being in very high places and gazing out on God’s untouched creation. Continue reading